For the past week, we’ve talked a lot about the hazards of deepwater drilling. But often, we fail to mention the very rare, very unique deepwater species that are in danger any time these operations are allowed to move forward.
MBARI researchers Bruce Robison and Kim Reisenbichler used video taken by unmanned, undersea robots called remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to study barreleye fish in the deep waters just offshore of Central California.
At depths of 600 to 800 meters (2,000 to 2,600 feet) below the surface, the ROV cameras typically showed these fish hanging motionless in the water, their eyes glowing a vivid green in the ROV’s bright lights.
The ROV video also revealed a previously undescribed feature of these fish–its eyes are surrounded by a see-through, fluid-filled shield that covers the top of the fish’s head.
Watch the barreleye fish in action!
Image Credit: fredbreeding.com